Monday, September 29, 2008

Tampa's Matt Bryant takes NFL off the hook

A day after burying his 3-month-old son in Texas, Tampa Bay’s kicker Matt Bryant booted three field goals to help the Buccaneers beat the Green Bay Packers 30-21 on Sunday. Unless you’ve experienced such a tragic loss, it’s difficult to assume Bryant’s shoes and understand the emotions that he experienced.

Bryant’s family is undoubtedly proud. He carried uncommon courage and focus on to the field at Raymond James Stadium. His willingness to play also took the league off the hook.

You see if Bryant could not suck it up and bring himself to play on Sunday, Jon Gruden and the Bucs would have had to cut another member of the team to make way for a short-term rental on a free agent kicker. While the league willingly makes roster exemptions for players like Fabian Washington (domestic dispute) and Derrick Martin (possession of illegal substances) for their off-the-field transgressions, they refused to make an exception for Tampa and grant a similar exemption for Bryant’s bereavement.

I don’t care what bureaucratic policy the league wants to point at as its collective cop out, sometimes common sense and human decency alone should dictate right and wrong. The arrogance of the NFL is approaching epidemic proportions and if not for Bryant’s courage, Roger Goodell and his cronies would all be caught with their pants down. They should be ashamed yet I’m sure another big weekend at the cash register will ease their fleeting and feigned guilt.


Henock said...

Wow, I didn't realize how corporate the NFL can seem sometimes. With the ridiculous nature that player situations are often handled financially, I can only wish Mr. Goodell would one day get caught stealing from the piggy bank.